A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #541
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Goblin

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLV

    4 more huh. Well then I guess with that the second review and then the final review im sure we will see them Tomorrow at the latest!

    HUZZAH!

  2. - Top - End - #542
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLV

    Sorry folks, when I came back from Hawai'i and saw how this blew up I knew I wouldn't be able to judge. When I saw 23 entries, I super-knew.

    Quote Originally Posted by Haluesen View Post
    Huh. Yeah that actually does sounds pretty crappy. What is up with that? I'll have to curtail it somehow in my campaign. I don't think my players will think to use it, they don't spend the time I do looking over spells and I didn't notice that detail. Still, yeah that is pretty messed up. There's just no love for enchanters. (Actually one of my favorite types of magic).
    My house rule is always that Protection from [Alignment] blocks enchantments cast by creatures of said alignment. It always seems to work pretty well, plus it makes players feel like tough guys when they can shrug off a vampire's dominate person, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Piggy Knowles View Post
    I still sometimes kick myself for not pulling off the burrowing dervish dancer, though.
    Earth Dreamer 5 says hi. Why burrow when you can glide? Burrowing leaves behind nasty little tunnels they can follow you into.
    Quote Originally Posted by Vaz View Post
    Ponies, the Kim Karsdashian of GITP.
    This is what happens when they let me DM:
    Beyond the Horizon IC / OOC
    A Time to Die: Alpha IC / Bravo IC / OOC

  3. - Top - End - #543
    Troll in the Playground
     
    thethird's Avatar

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLV

    I actually use that same house rule.
    Thanks a lot Gengy for the awesome... just a sec... avatar. :)

  4. - Top - End - #544
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLV

    I like this rule and shall remember it well. Thank you for the help PONIES. Currently running a campaign, my second real campaign that wasn't just a one shot adventure or two put together, and any advice of unique home rules are appreciated.
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    Yeah... even if it's a fairly friendly place by the internet's standards... it's still the internet. A certain level of pedantic bickering is to be expected.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
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    If I can get a pet dinosaur, I totally will. My low wisdom means a raptor looks like a great guard dog.


    Awesome Holy Knight Haluesen avatar done by the uber skilled Grinner!

  5. - Top - End - #545
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLV

    I'm just going to tell everyone up front that most of you are getting no points for use of the energy immunity. Mostly people picked one and tried to get points for choosing the what they saw as a good selection. But that's no actual, interesting use of an immunity. You also get no points for saying that you can have a stable of dominated dragons as a use of Dominate Dragon. That's blindingly obvious and just about everyone either said that or said nothing at all.

    I'm also surprised at who got high numbers and who got low numbers.

    Finally, I apologize in advance for being a compelte tosser about this judging. I took the Zero Punctuation route: everything I don't whine about is good, alright? And I apologize for sharp language.

    With that in mind:

    *highly unnecessary rap airhorn noises*

    Results!

    Wyrmlord Kranzon - 10.5
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    Originality: 3.5
    You've built for an unusual purpose, and that shows in that you have downright weird options. Hobgoblin? Dragonscale Husk? Stand Fast? Er, okay. You're a warlord, but you don't seem to have built like one...in fact, I'm not entirely sure what you do, besides strafe and breathe various energies over people. I'll give you a 3.5. I'm not really sure you challenge your role, because I can't figure out exactly what your role is, but it's definitely weird.

    Power: 1.5
    Unfortunately, I don't see much merit in this build's capabilities. You dedicate almost all of your feats to being able to strafe and use your breath weapons, but the problem is that the breath weapons are not, by themselves, all that great. Even the Half-Dragon breath weapon that lasts all day will be ineffective at the level at which you take Dragon Breath. You cannot really help your allies if you're in the air and strafing. You also just...lack other options, and the heavy level adjustment hurts your survivability despite the Constitution bump. Sorry, but I don't see a reason that this character can do its job.

    Elegance: 4
    Nitpick: I don't think you can use paladin ACFs with variant paladins. Paladin of Tyranny is a class on its own. You also lose a little bit for making it difficult to understand your strategies and why you're doing what you're doing. But overall, this build flows really well and the fluff smooths over any bumpiness. It would make a nice NPC, actually. And you don't violate the multiclassing penalties, either.

    Use of the Secret Ingredient: 1.5
    You've got issues. I see the spellcasting progression and the limited breath being used, as well as the energy immunity rounding out resistance to all four energy types--a minor, but existent, usage. But I don't see how you use the Paladin of Tyranny spells at all. You're missing out on Voice of the Dragon, the proficiencies overlap, Frightful Presence, Keen Senses, and any real use of Dominate Dragon. I have to ask why you didn't just go, say, Dragonfire Adept for a better breath weapon. You ignore most of the abilities, and the levels seem like filler.


    Aleksander - 10.5
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    Originality: 3
    I toyed with Warlock, but it's still interesting to see, even if someone else did use it in this round. Dragon Totem Barbarian is kinda out-there, though I don't see why you have it except for fluff reasons. Overall, you have a kinda generic Helfire Glaivelock thing going on here on one side, but Intimidating + Instantaneous Rage goodness with Frightful Blast on the other. I like seeing these fear tools, because they're different from all of the other standard ways of stacking fear. You get no points at all for Never Outnumbered + Imperious Command, though.

    Overall, I like it. It's not really earth-shattering, but it adds some newness to the tiring discipline of fear-stacking.

    Power: 4
    HFW with standard HFW cheese, with reduced EB dice made up for with quickened breaths. Fear stackiness. Definitely a 4, I think--the build is just crying out to have those Talon of Tiamat levels ripped out and replaced with Warlock, but it function as an HFW and fear-user.

    Elegance: 2
    Hellfire Warlock, what a cheese magnet. You lose points for using it. You obey the multiclassing penalties, but this drowned out by the fact that you used two different dips. The level progression is sort of...all over the place. And you kind of throw out Warlock, Barbarian, and Binder fluff. That makes me meanface. You have no blatant rules violations, but I'm still not quite satisfied with the build's clunkiness.

    Use of the Secret Ingredient: 2.5
    Despite my whinging about Naberius, he makes you actually use the Bluff side of Voice of the Dragon, and of course you use Intimidate. The proficiencies go to waste, and the senses are at least not obsoleted. No points for the immunity, but you use the breath weapons as sideline blasters. Still, I can't help but think that you would do better with a more conventional HFW progression--you need these breath weapons to be more effective, but more eldritch blast and freeing up three feats would be just as good. Dominate dragon, no points. In sum, you do use a good chunk of the abilities, and get to the core of the PrC...but there's a lot, a lot, that superfluous about your use of ToT. It's been crowbarred in to a regular HFW.


    Tristyn R'yr – 11
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    Originality: 1.25
    Insert a snarky way of pointing out how obvious Abjurant Champion is here. Insert comment about seeing nothing new in the build. Insert message about how unusual feat choices don't really count.

    Power: 3.75
    7th-level spells are the highest acquired in this round of ICOitp outside of Ur-Priests. They're great and everything, but it feels like a cop-out. Still I'm giving you a 3.75--you don't hit the standard benchmarks of BAB +16/9th-level spells for a gish, so it's not optimized Tier 3-4 play, but 7ths are cool. Power Attack gives you the necessary melee bite.

    Elegance: 4.5
    It's sqeaky clean. Good job. There's nothing I can call you on, and you don't violate the multiclassing penalties. Without something that jumps out as classy, though, You do not get all five points.

    Use of the Secret Ingredient: 1.5
    Why, oh why, oh WHY, did you not just do a standard Sorcadin? That's what I'm asking myself, here. All you use from Talon of Tiamat is average BAB and spellcasting progression (proficiencies are covered by Battlesorc) but, y'know, Fighter 5/Sorcerer 5 has that too. At least the keen senses aren't left completely to waste. I really would rather respec this with more basic gish stuff, but you are, in fact, getting some points for using what it does give you.


    The Dead Mists - 15.75 16.75
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    Originality: 5
    This content has a lot of generic fear stuff to grind through, but the grinding trips over this. Thrall of Juiblex, lol wut. Shadowcaster, LOL WUT. Being mist and summoning oozes and stuff to--

    *bites into a pear* Sorry, what was I talking about? Oh, yeah. Full points.

    Power: 4.75
    Being mist makes you extremely hard to kill, and you have lots of utility as a party-facing shadowcaster. I think this can almost stand up to optimized play, considering your explanations. I'm unfamiliar with most of shadowcasting, but it's convincing.

    Elegance: 3.25
    Time out! Dedication to an Elder Evil is cheesy. *hits self with hypocracy bat* I'm also meanfacing about the fact that you're supposedly dedicated to an Elder Evil but also a thrall of a demon: I imagine that this is sort of a "pick one" choice. Per dispute, this is actually encrouaged by the Elder Evils sourcebook, making that a plus. The CC dip is a little bit annoying, but it's just a dip, and you don't violate the multiclassing penalties.

    Use of the Secret Ingredient: 3.5
    You get some mileage out of just about everything. You actually use that energy immunity and the keen senses. The casting advancement is of course used...voice of the dragon, as well. Entangling Exhalation is the justification for most builds' uses of the SI, so you don't get much for that. Everyone takes Entangling Exhalation with a breath weapon, though there is Breath of Unlife to help with immunities. I also don't see a use of the proficiencies. You expertly combine Frightful Presence with the mist form, but Dominate Dragon is just fluff.

    Unfortunately, I don't see how Talon of Tiamat is the best way to advance this concept. It's not really about ToT in this build; it's about being a Shadowcaster as mist. Since you also do not use a couple of the features, I can't give you a 4. (I don't think I'm giving anyone a 4...) So, how about halfway between the "most" and "all" scores.


    Abrasa Kal - 11.75
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    Originality: 1.75
    Combat Panache is a strange feat--congrats on finding something that synergizes so with Talon of Tiamat. I wasn't expecting Bard, but it looks like a lot of other people had the same idea. Some of your other tricks are really standard for your classes, though--DFI, Entangling Exhalation, Bard-gish feats. You're basically a staple melee bard with a completely incidental breath weapon. Combat Panache helps you in this category, though.

    Power: 4
    It's your basic gish-ish melee bard, with all the goodies that come from that. I have little to say.

    Elegance: 4.25
    Follows multiclassing rules. Your class progression has a couple of odd ducks, but that's not that bad. Familiar territory means that there's not a lot that went wrong, however, and you aren't relying on kludgy tricks. Nothing is "classy", but it's a clean build overall.

    Use of the Secret Ingredient: 1.75
    Uuuuuunfortunately, the only thing you use beyond the spellcasting progression is Voice of the Dragon. The BAB and spellcasting could have been done with just more Bard. You mention dominate dragon and frightful presence, but they're just kinda there--you don't do anything with them. Keen senses are not obsoleted, at least, and the proficencies are covered up by Fighter. You have Entangling Exhalation, but make no mention of how you'd use the breath weapons; it seems like just feat tax or a quick grab for points. Nope, sorry. Just go Warlock 1-2/Bard 8-9 and take Beguiling Influence as an invocation, and you get everything you're using from ToT.


    Majeed Azar - 8.25
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    Originality: 3.25
    Xeph Shadowmind, LOLWUT. Quirky selections, for sure, so you get at least that originality score. You're not making it to 4, since you don't actually challenge the role of...whatever you are (I cannot for the life of me figure out what your build actually does), but I forgot that Shadowmind was a thing until you reminded me.

    Power: 2.5
    It's a very standard Psychic Rogue with Talot of Tiamat crowbarred into it. It does suffer from the inclusion, and it looks like it's going to have some difficulty keeping up with the joneses on manifesting and its skills. You start out with a bunch of assorted skills, but they fall by the wayside. You only just get UPD up to auto-dorje'ing by the end. So you're basically...the utility monkey with a few other skills, although they get too weak for their level to matter.

    Elegance: 1.5
    You can't advance a manifesting class with a class that's for casting. Nope nope nope. The other problem is that I'm having a very difficult time understanding how your build works and what it does--it's just a big non sequitor among the other entries. Finally, highly dubious Shadowmind spell cheese is earning you a frowny face. But hey, you only have one base class, and the level progression is smooth. The manifesting advancement thing is a huge red mark bringing you down, unfortunately.

    Use of the Secret Ingredient: 1
    You have just about no reason at all to take Talon of Tiamat.

    Okay, fine, you have maxed Bluff and Intimidate. But it feels so obligatory, since you do nothing with those scores. You don't use the proficiencies for anything I can tell, although they do exist, and that's...something, I guess. A bigger damage die when you hit something using a martial weapon, then. But you don't use the breath weapons, the keen senses (one of them is overlapped), the frightful presence, the energy immunity, the dragon domination, or voice of the dragon--see above. Frankly, all Talon of Tiamat did was gimp your manifesting progression. Why on earth did you take it instead of more Shadowmind? It seems like you really wanted to show your Shadowmind trick, but it's Talon of Tiamat time, and when you did nothing with it, just...no.

    Please show me why you took Talon of Tiamat. You forgot your build explanations, which makes this difficult.


    Lady Gray - 10.5 11.75
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    Originality: 4
    Wyrmling Steel Dragon was vaguely expected somewhere, and it's in two other entries, so you only get a smidge of points for that. But a Soul Eater approach to the class is interesting, because it's a different way to pull off the wyrmling gish thing. You prefer throwing out negative levels to straight damage, which challenges the archetype.

    Power: 3
    Your spellcasting progression is...unimpressive, and you're spread a bit thin, but boy can you throw out negative levels. The problem with that is that it seems to be the only thing you can do well, and if something's immune, you're sitting on your hands. Or claws, as it were. I think you're mostly carrying the SI with distributed skill points and Soul Eater, so I'll give you the "carrying" score.

    Elegance: 2.75
    Divine Power is a divine spell, so you can't take it as your 4th-level Sorcerer spell. Similar case with Create Water and Cure Minor Wounds. Big oversight. Per dispute, this is legal as of Dragons of Faerun.
    Secondly, three dips makes Kazyan sad; it's just a clumsy way to get power. The build is also a little bit...I don't know, all over the place? You try to reconcile being a party-facer with natural attack debuffing, but it comes across as spreading yourself out a bit too much. You've got Dalkstalker, for instance, when your Hide and Move Silently are dismal for the feat. Finally, Alternate Form/Polymorph is not actually good for what you presume it can do--it lasts for 1 minute/level. Social encounters can last quite a while. Per dispute, steel dragons can stay polymorphed for as long as they want.

    Sorry, but there's not a lot I like about how this is put together.

    Use of the Secret Ingredient: 2
    Oh boy Entangling Exhalation I bet no one else is ever going to take that ever. But seriously, It's a another "I'm spreading myself thin" bit on the build. Voice of the dragon seems kinda obligatory; you don't do anything interesting with the Bluff and Intimidate. Okay, Never Outnumbered is there, but Intimidate builds always take that, and I wouldn't call it "interesting". The immunity gets no points, dominate dragon is mostly fluff (athough you do make it easier), keen senses are obsoleted, and Frightful Presence is just kinda there.

    You probably could have just gone Warlock 2/Battle Sorcerer 8 and gotten the same things from the class, using Beguiling Influence as an invocation. Nothing else is anything more than haphazardly stapled onto a 3/4 BAB half casting chassis.


    Vox Dracul - 14.25 14.75
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    Originality: 3
    I didn't see a super debuff machine coming, and the way you go about it is unusual, what with Evangelist. It works like any other super-debuffer, though, so just a 3. But 3 is good!

    Power: 4.25
    7th-level spells which don't seem obligatory, because they're alongside debuffing madness. I like this.

    Elegance: 4
    *grumblegrumble* Dips. I know Sublime Chord is advanced, but it still looks like a dip. The progression is a little bit choppy, and your debuffing takes a while--there's the full0round actions for Inspire Dread, then you have to drop it and throw down a Demoralize or a Doomspeak, then Celerity for...yeah, your action economy is wonky. But this is mostly quibbling. You avoid the multiclassing penalties, too.

    Use of the Secret Ingredient: 3.5
    Putting max ranks into Bluff and Intimidate is not an effective use of Voice of the Dragon; you gotta do something with that bonus, and you do with Imperious Command. I see no use of the immunity, the senses are unused but at least don't overlap anything. Breath weapon...Entangling Exhalation as the only and obvious use does not impress me. (Per dispute, Stunning breath spell as a second use.) Frightful presence is part of your pile of debuffs, and you would actually have use for dominate dragon--turning passersby into meatshields--except that it's almost moot because Polymorphing lasts for just a few minutes, and passersby will have terrible HP. I'm glad you actually found something to do with it, though. Yay!

    So, that's a "contributes meaningfully" but I don't want to twiddle it up or down, since most of the uses of the SI parts are minor.

    Per dispute, granted proficiencies are acutally used--ranged qeapon upgrade.


    Suspect 1 - 15.75
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    Originality: 3.5
    Warlock is a bit unusual, as I mentioned with Aleksander, and the DFA dip is weird. Props on being one to focus so heavily on the breath weapon--this wasn't done much in the competition. Despite being simple, it's a quirky build and doesn't do its damage shtick like people usually do. Ranged EB damage-blastin' is uncommon.

    Power: 3
    The use of Clinging Breath is a great way of maximizing the damage from your breath weapons. UMD is your other saving grace, which you need because the rest of you is having some problems. Unembellished Eldritch Blast at a slowed-down progression, without Eldritch Glaive...no, I'm not buying that Suspect 1's unlimited weapon can actually do anything to level-appropriate encounters beyond the early levels. But your use of the breath weapons and UMD beings you up to mild-optimization standards.

    Elegance: 5
    I actually really like this one. The dip is a little bit weird and I can't figure out what it's for (unlimited breath weapon? Trying to decreases the recharge time to at-will even though that doesn't work?), but beyond that, this is a solid build. It flows smoothly, doesn't require a stack of books, is fluff-appropriate, and works how the designers seem to think Warlock and Talon of Tiamat should. You get full points and half a win.

    Use of the Secret Ingredient: 3.25
    Honest-to-goodness focus on the SI as your primary thing-wrecking method. Love it. You use the energy immunity to give yourself some space and the spellcasting progression for EB< but beyond that, you've left out Voice of the Dragon and Frightful Presence. Keen Senses are at least no obsoleted. The SI certainly contributes meaningfully to the build, overall, and you get a little bonus for making it the star of the show.


    Doc D'oc - 12.5
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    Originality: 4
    Necromancy! An odd duck, that. Anima Mage! Weird. Social-mancy! Completely and utterly expected. I'd say that the juxtaposition of necromancer and party face is a defiance of standard art structure, so let's give you that 4.

    Power: 3.25
    Your necromancy powers are limited--though you can have some extra undead, you've pretty much just got Animate Dead, and then literally everything else is you getting stuff from other people. Not nearly as good as a Dread Necromancer or Cleric or whatever. However, your numbers are through the roof. If it's based on a social skill check, you just plain win. The low-level pact magic and free Persist per day is delicious, delicious icing. I think you're almost entirely carrying the SI, though.

    Elegance: 3
    The fluff works, but the Anima Mage inclusion is a little clunky. Relying so much on buffing makes me furrow my brow; it doesn't look good when everything you say you can do is preceded by a list of buffs that you apparently have time to stack onto yourself. Otherwise, the build is about average--I can't find a lot to complain or praise about.

    Use of the Secret Ingredient: 2.25
    I like that you're going over possible uses of stuff, but it comes across as just listing the options Pact Magic gives anyone. Your justifications for Dominate Dragon are weak, and it does not help your case that you have two ways of obsoleting it.

    The problem with this build is that you seem to be working an Anima Mage build around Talon of Tiamat instead of using it. You have some fear stuff, but don't explain how you use what Talon of Tiamat gives you. The bonuses from Voice of the Dragon are just utterly drowned out by the UMD stuff and Naberius and Glibness and Improvization...it's just peanuts. I appreciate the effort, but the sprinkles on the build aren't actually contributing because they're above a threshold of you always making the checks anyway. Now, you do use the spellcasting advancement...but not the immunities, any particular use of Frightful Presence (you explain what it is, but not how it's useful to you), or keen senses. At least one of the senses isn't overlapped. Entangling Exhalation is barely worth counting because 1) pretty much everyone took it, and 2) it gets in the way of your undead. Seriously, do not entangle your buddies.

    I'm wondering why you didn't just advance Anima Mage more and then maybe finish out with Bard.


    Sigismundo Celine - 11 11.5
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    Originality: 4.5
    Ahahahaha...fun build, but I'm not going to give too many points for fluff, as this is a min-maxing contest. Still, this is a unique concept and a bizarre direction to take the class in. Vigilant Sentinel of Aerenal is also unusual. And by "unusual" I mean "I had no idea this existed". The only reason you're not getting 5 is because of socialmancy as your schtick, which was really super expected for the contest.

    Power: 2
    Aren't you a little, I dunno...niche? Your intimidation abilities are fine, but you are screwed against anything fear-immune, as the only method you have of doing damage is breath weapons, and those do not have any relevant bells and whistles (see below for what I think about Exhaled Barrier). Your social-fu is neat, but that can't be someone's only role in D&D: otherwise, they get super bored during combat. You look Tier 5-ish to me. Super duper niche.

    Elegance: 2.75
    The class progression is all choppy and stuff, but you no manage to weave together a nice theme. It works, although loosely, and it seems sort of...forced, I guess. It's just a got feeling that I can't explain in hard judging rubric. I think it balances out to slightly below 3.

    Use of the Secret Ingredient: 3
    Exhaled Barrier is cute and everything, but it seems like an unnecessary extra step. Why create a wall for a fleeing enemy to run through when you could just, you know, blast them with the regular breath weapon? Per disute, the point is to escalate panicked enemies to cowering. And beyond that, there's nothing that makes the breath weapon interesting or useful for the build. Voice of the Dragon is used for Wanderer's Diplomacy/Seduction and Imperious Command, which is alright. Spellcasting progression gets you glibness; seems to be a recurring theme in this contest. Frightful presence gives you another fear toy. No use of immunities or the senses, though, even if the senses aren't overlapped. Dominate dragon...saying you can dominate dragons is not a use of the SI beyond what literally every other person in the contest has.

    I dunno, this has the issue of "let's focus on the socialmancy stuff and ignore everything else" thing a lot of entries have going on. There's not an obvious replacement for it all, but you leave off like half of the SI. We'll call it halfway between 2 and 3.


    Emrys - 12.75
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    Originality: 4.5
    You used Death Delver.

    *bites into pear again*

    DMM in my Talon of Tiamat; apparently it's more likely than I thought. Knight is tasty, though you use it in a very standard way.

    Power: 1.75
    Your social skills are enough to be a party face, but not a spectacular one. Outside of that, you have one real shtick, and that's fear-stacking. If one of the many kinds of fear-immune monsters comes by you, or if someone has a very good Will save, you're kinda screwed. I see Spirited Charge...but no power attack or pounce, with a Strength score that does not get maximized. Even with a +6 Str Item, we're looking at, what, 2d8+30 damage at level 20 if you've got a +5 Collision Lance? Not impressive. Your breath weapons also just don't have the kind of investment to make them useful beyond the first or second time you breathe. This build has problems contributing in combat--it's spread too thin between charging, BFC, and breath weapons--with its only recourse being social skills that are weaker than an 8 Cha rouge putting max rank ranks into those skills. The Death Delver casting basically just gives you self-healing and more fear tools.

    Then there's the MADness problem. You put points into, like, every ability score. Not getting you a smiley face.

    Elegance: 3.5
    Empower Spell doesn't work like you think it does: only variable, numeric effects are empowered. Bull's Strength's +4 is fixed, not variable. I like that you've finished out Death Delver's casting, and that the build is a nice clean 5/5/10. However, the skill juggling you need to do is just frownyface; you ditch skills as soon as you can. Overall, though, it's clean.

    Use of the Secret Ingredient: 3
    Frightful presence used. Breath weapons used, only because you have very little better to do. No use of immunities; senses are not overlapped; "I has a dominated dragon" doesn't count because everyone in this contest does that. Spellcasting progression finishes Death Delver. Voice of the Dragon brings your social skills up to adequacy. I think the SI is integrated into the build, but it doesn't bring anything up to the point where it pops out as optimized. The SI makes things mediocre enough, not...good. But I'm being a debbie downer. SI contributes meaningfully; 3 for you.


    (continued)
    Last edited by Kazyan; 2013-06-07 at 06:18 PM. Reason: Disputes

  6. - Top - End - #546
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLV

    Calsus – 11.5
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    Originality: 2.25
    Ur-priest. Saw this one coming. The entry is a very standard one, but I like that you’re using the SI in an unusual way; your focus on Dominate Dragon is unique to the contest. Still, a lot of this is terribly standard.

    Power: 4.25
    It’s got 9ths, true, but the progression is slowed, and you spend a lot of time kinda putzing around and waiting for your tricks to come online—seriously, DMM and then waiting 6 levels to get a metamagic feat? On the back of the 9ths, you get a high score, but the problems pull you down somewhat.

    Elegance: 2
    One thing that jumps out at me is “ew, Otyugh Hole”, and “ew, done at a level at which you don’t have nearly enough WBL for it”. Taking DMM is also pointless for a good long while when you have no metamagic feats—you can’t apply it to anything. Then there’s Ur-priest, which makes be blanch a little, even if it does its job. The Thaumaturge dip isn’t very clean, and this has level 20 build syndrome—your big trick doesn’t happen for 19 levels, and who plays at level 20 long enough for yours to work, anyway? But there’s nothing rules-problematic that I can see, at least. I don’t like it, but you don’t deserve a 1.

    Use of the Secret Ingredient: 3
    Imperious Command + Voice of the Dragon + Inspire Awe + Frightful Presence combo. Lots of people used it, but you can have some points for it. Dominate Dragon is used to, uh, dominate dragons. This isn’t all that different from most other entries saying that dominate dragon lets them have dominate dragons, and I said I’m not giving points for it, but you make it clever by binding planar dragons. So you can have some points. You use the spellcasting progression, but not the proficiencies, immunities, one half of Voice of the Dragon (saying that bluff lets you bluff doesn’t count), or keen senses—though they’re not overlapped. I dunno, I feel like you ignored a bunch of Talon of Taimat in favor of the “lol, summon dragon” schtick, but a lot of this actually does look used, and you do in fact put the SI front-and-center.


    Firnesquis - 12
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    Originality: 3
    This one’s rather similar to Wyrmlord Kranzon, in that you’re breath weapon-focused and doing it from the air. Your methods are quirky and pretty straightforward. Nothing earth-shattering, but it’s not a run-of-the-mill build either.

    Power: 2.5
    You can pump up the power of your breath weapons and you have mild spellcasting ability. Mobility and misdirection makes you somewhat difficult to catch, though you have problems with melee damage—Insightful Strike doesn’t help you beyond the early levels, and Knowledge Devotion barely helps because you have a single Knowledge skill trained. Also, Strength 10. The problem with hit-and-run type builds is that you have to be able to do enough damage for them to pay attention to you. Your breath weapons are your saving grace here, but they’re limited, and don’t really get impressive until the very late dozen-of-dice ones.

    Elegance: 3.5
    The progression doesn’t make me cringe, though you incur the multiclassing penalties. It seems “jagged” to go into Duskblade and then prestige into a different spellswordy class with its own progression, which basically resets your growth. I dunno. Nothing wrong rules-wise I immediately spot, though.

    Use of the Secret Ingredient: 3
    Focusing on the breath weapon is great, and there’s no obvious replacement for Talon of Tiamat in the build, since you need it for Suel Archanamach. You have a mild use for keen senses, which is a first. Voice of the Dragon lets you feint better, the spellcasting progression advance Suel Archanamach. Beyond that, you ignore the second half of voice of the dragon, the frightful presence, dominate dragons, and the proficiencies. You use about half of the ingredient, but it’s your prime focus, so 3.


    Zeddicus – 12.5
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    Originality: 2.5
    This is yet another debuff-centric build with Imperious Command, although Hexblade livens up the place, as does Blackguard. The approach is weird, but the result has been done.

    Power: 2.75
    You can debuff the living daylights out of people and have great saving throws. Your spellcasting is mediocre at best, though—1st level Hexblade spells and some unimpressive picks of the Blackguard list (besides Freedom of Movement) don’t make you a good spellcaster. As for a melee threat, you have Power Attack and +17 BAB at least, so people can pay at least minor attention to you. On the other hand, that’s two feats and less than full base attack bonus; Warriors are better. I suppose your debuffing makes up some slack, but you said you were a melee character, and you have poor specs for that. It’s a good thing you use the breath weapon well enough.

    Elegance: 4.25
    Earliest possible entry to the SI is tasty. The progression isn’t dippy, and I like the division into larger blocks of levels. Smooth. Doesn’t incur multiclassing penalties. Changing which class you’re progressing is off-kilter, and you have a random Hexblade spell per day that just gets left in the dust, which smells like leaving a loose end. Overall, though, I like it.

    Use of the Secret Ingredient: 3
    Casting progression used as usual, but you’re pretty much just here for Voice of the Dragon and the ability to smack somebody with a clinging glob of damage. To be fair, you really need that glob. No mention of Frightful Presence, though I’m pretty sure you get used out of it by adding to your debuff pile. Proficiencies aren’t used because heavy armor interferes with hexblade spells, and by the time you’ve moved on to Blackguard spells, you get them from Blackguard. The other half of voice of the dragon is unused, as are the immunities and Dominate Dragon. This is the typical distribution of used/not used; I think I’ve been giving it a 3.


    Spyro – 10.75 13.25
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    Originality: 5
    It’s Spyro, using Dispassionate Watcher.

    *bite* …This pear, it is delicious.

    You’ve managed to recreate the character faithfully, using Talon of Tiamat’s tools and a bunch of bizarre classes. Good job. Struck me completely by surprise.

    Power: 3
    You get 9ths, but see the elegance section. It seems like you’re handwaving away most of your build as “utility”, but honestly, you only get up to 3rd-level spells by ECL 15, you can’t fight easily, your breath weapons are coming in pretty late with no embellishments, and you’re basically just a party face. Having only one job, and that job not having anything to do with combat, will make you very bored when D&D eventually gets back to beating things up and taking their stuff. I don’t see a lot that Spyro can do well except at 20th level. I would give you a 1.something, but the 9th at the end bump you up to 2.

    PSA: Talk to your kids about level 20 build syndrome, before someone else does.

    PER DISPUTE: Being a low level cleric means you'll never be bored, and you can make tons of skill checks, and utility is not merely handwaving.

    Elegance: 2
    Programmers use the word “kludge” to refer to code that is too ugly to work, but somehow does. And good GUH is this build kludgy. I barely want to count the 9th-level spells even with the very clever Dispassionate Watcher trick, because they only com online at 20th level and it’s a little cheesy to stack the progression onto Ur-Priest, which is a big can of worms. You have dips all over the place. Yet, you’ve made the build work by tying it into a memorable fluff package. Grumble grumble. Look, using Spyro as your inspiration is cool and all, but the structure of the build is just ugly, and you talk a lot about possible cheese, which doesn’t help your case. Per dispute, let's just pretend I never said that last part, becuase penalizing for options is bad.

    Use of the Secret Ingredient: 3.25
    It’s all about emulating a bigger dragon, isn’t it? You can do that with your breath weapons and frightful presence, but I’m seeing no use of keen senses, proficiencies, or anything clever to do with Dominate Dragon (again, saying you can dominate dragons just something everyone in the contest can do; give me an interesting use of a dominated dragon…). Voice of the Dragon helps you party face a little, but that slows down and stops later, rendering you not so useful in that regard eventually. I really think this would have been better served with DFA, taking the Frightful Presence invocation…maybe Eldritch Disciple to advance Ur-Priest?

    PER DISPUTE: I totally forgot to mention the Calm Emotions Aura thing, making this un-subbable, and a bunch of minor uses I did not account for.


    Krumbalt – 13.5
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    Originality: 3.5
    Tauric Dog-Kobold, whaaaaaat. Any yet, this is yet another Intimidate fear-stack bonanza. Also, the tauricness seems a little gimmicky, even though I can tell that you’re doing it for the BAB and bonuses to physical stats. If it were not for the tauric, I would tank you for doing basically the same thing that everyone else is doing—even the Voice of the Dragon spell has been mentioned—so I’m afraid I can’t give you a 5. Granted, Tauric Kobold-Dog is a cool trick, so I’ll give you a fairly good number.

    Power: 4
    Your numbers are all awesome and stuff. You can eventually cut through fear immunity, which is important to have of a build this dedicated to one trick. Your melee damage is alright, I think, because of Arcane Strike and having 18 Str, though not being a melee build and the lack of Power Attack is kind of a bummer. There’s not a lot you can do against a Dread Witch with +46 to Intimidate and Imperious Command, though. Points for that.

    Elegance: 4
    Dread Witch and Talon of Tiamat are choppily interspersed. I like the way your feats line up so well with the times that you meet their prerequisites. There’s not a lot I can say about this build’s Elegance, and that’s a good sign, because I take the Zero Punctuation approach to critique.

    Use of the Secret Ingredient: 2
    Yeah, no.

    Like everyone ever, you use the casting progression, half of Voice of the Dragon, and a little of Frightful Presence. Everything else is ignored. The problem is that I can’t see how Frightful Presence really does anything for you; your numbers for Imperious Command are so high that if you combine it with Breath Flare, there’s not much point in having a third source of fear at a much easier-to-make DC. What is anyone supposed to do against your first combo that makes Frightful Presence at all relevant? The breath weapons work with Breath Flare, but with Draconic Breath, it’s pretty much redundant as you can just feed 1st-level spells into making your enemies terrified. At best, the five breath weapons are worth the cost of a Ring of Wizardry I to you. Immunities, proficiencies, senses, the other half of Voice of the Dragon, and Dominate Dragon go to waste, unfortunately. I see how Frightful Presence and the breath weapons might contribute a little bit, but it really looks like you’d be better off with Warlock 2/Sorcerer 8, taking Beguiling Influence as an invocation. Maybe advance Dread With faster instead of some of those Sorcerer levels, or Abjchamp if you need the BAB, maybe.

    But all of this is just me whining endlessly; the fact of the matter is that you’re getting a better summed score than most of the competition at the end of the day.


    Leide Magora – 12.5
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    Originality: 1.75
    It’s an Inspire Awe-based debufftastic bard! Again. Also, Sublime Chord was somewhat expected and wargharbl I’m being too negative. But seriously, this is a fairly generic build, to me—the tricks within have sort of been done to death, like using fast-progression on a half-casting PrC and stacking Voice of the Dragon onto other bonuses.

    Power: 4
    The 8th-level spell (singular) is nice to have; I’ve got to give you points for it, and your build isn’t one of those “only works at level 20” type deals. I’m not sure what to say about the debuffing that I haven’t already said in other builds—it doesn’t work on those immune to mind-affecting but it’s otherwise effective. Have I said that before? Anyway, I gave one of the Ur-Priests a 4.25, and you’re somewhat weaker in the spell department (curse those limited spells known), but make up for it partially with your debuffs and UMD. We’ll call it 0.25 lower.

    Elegance: 4.25
    Ew, PaO. Ew, Jack of All Trades + Bardic Knack doesn’t actually work because a rank is requires, and Jack of All Trades only gives half of a rank. Otherwise, the simplicity of this build makes it very clean.

    Use of the Secret Ingredient: 2.5
    You know those 5 levels of ToT that don’t advance spellcasting? They come across as dead levels that have been crowbarred into the build because you have to have them. That’s maybe not entirely true, but you turned up with the same Spellcasting + Frightful Presence + Voice trend where everything else is ignore: immunities, dominate dragon (again, saying that you can dominate a dragon is not a use of the secret ingredient…), proficiencies, and senses—though those aren’t overlapped, at least. Still, you use both sides of Voice of the Dragon and exploited the half-casting for all it’s worth, so no 2.


    The White Whale – 11.75 12.25
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    Originality: 2.75
    Hah, a water build. Fun stuff. On the other hand, it’s primarily a fear bomber. I’ve already tasted a dozen of those. On the third hand, you’re getting ranger casting of all things, and try to do grappling. On the fourth hand, I wish I had some lemonade to hold in that hand because judging is hard work. Overall, you have optimization staples and try to do this in a bizarre environment. I don’t really know what to think. You get a middle-of-the-road score.

    Power: 2.5
    It’s clever to frame your build in the perfect circumstances for it, but really, that just means you’re totally niche. Outside of Stormwrack-y campaigns where you fight ships, this guy is a lot less interesting. You’ve got Power Attack and Shock Trooper, but no pounce and don’t quite get to +16 BAB, so I can’t give you a lot of points there, especially when you try to TWF without bonus damage. Ew. Avenging Executioner is handy, but don’t assume you win initiative. You can totally fear bomb, though, and you’ve got the bog-standard Never Outnumbered-Imperious Command combo. On the whole…I dunno, it seems kinda weak outside of water, and doesn’t get Bloody Blade until very late. Improved Grab is nice and all, but with ¾ BAB and no Improved Grapple or anything that advances it…nope?

    Elegance: 3.75
    This is an excessively ugly level progression. It’s full of dips and unfinished progressions. You’ve also ignored Zhentarim fluff. Despite the progression being wonky, the abilities seem to fit pretty well together, per your explanations—I have a good idea of how this guy fights. You can’t explain gut feelings, but I’ve got one that says your unfinished progressions fit pretty well together, so have a high elegance score.

    Use of the Secret Ingredient: 3.25
    Though you’ve pumped the breath weapon with Extra Exhalation and use it to set ships on fire, I don’t see how the fire breath is that much more beneficial than just throwing a cheapo flask of alchemist’s fire. Still, you do use it to some degree, along with your fire immunity. Props for that. Fast progression of ranger spells is also a good use of the half-casting progression. Nothing to do with the proficiencies or keen senses (though the latter isn’t overlapped), but Frightful Presence is part of your variant of everyone’s fear shtick. Per dispute, keen senses are used to see through water. No meaningful use of dominate dragon. Voice of the dragon does what it does for everyone.

    This actually uses a bunch of the SI’s content. I’m not giving you higher than 3 because of several unused bits, but kudos on actually using the energy immunity.


    Violet Ruskin – 10.5
    Spoiler
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    Originality: 3.5
    I didn’t know Fatemaker was a thing until now, and the structure of the build is strange. You also challenge the way your party role does things, but having all those skill tricks and tactical feats to making things more complex than rolling opposed checks. It’s very new as a social build, but you’re doing the same Never Outnumbered + Imperious Command + Voice of the Dragon thing that’s so freaking common in this contest, so I won’t bring you up to 4.

    Power: 3.25
    While a phenomenal party face, you have to realize that it can’t be your only role, and I don’t think simply fear-bombing everything is enough to make you significantly versatile in game. You’ll be sort of hosed when you can’t just talk the monster to death, or if something is immune to fear/mind-affecting—a common immunity. However, you do your job very well, so props for that, and you have the UMD to throw wands at the problems until they go away. That’s good.

    Elegance: 2
    Advancing a class beyond its maximum level using Uncanny Trickster (usually legacy champion) is one of those index-out-of-range-error things that operate on optimizer logic. It gets points taken off from you. The build structure is also pretty ugly; though you don’t incur the multiclassing penalties, that’s because everything is so dippy. Ew. Dumping skill points into UMD so suddenly does not earn you a smiley face, either.

    Use of the Secret Ingredient: 1.75
    Both sides of voice of the Dragon, Frightful Presence, Keen senses are not overlapped, and…?

    I don’t buy the use of Uncanny Trickster for the breath weapon. Though you improve the save DCs, you don’t…well, have any reason to do so. Nothing in your build is dedicated to improving the breath weapons; they seem superfluous to a build that talks the monster to death. Beyond that, you have no special use for the proficiencies (overlapped), Dominate Dragon, or the immunity. The spellcasting progression barely worth counting because Fatemaker spells are some of the most restricted in the game, and not terribly good. I feel like this is tacked on, as well. That’s the big issue with this build: you latched onto the Frightful Presence and Voice of the Dragon as socialmancy tools, and then it comes across like you just didn’t care about anything else in the build except as afterthoughts to maybe snag more UotSI points. It’s a very hollow use of the ingredient. Just go Warlock 1/DFA 6, to get Beguiling Influence and Frightful Presence.


    Doraanar Gireen – 11.25
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    Originality: 2
    Wyrmling Steel Dragon again? They lose their taste after a while, and it’s a well-known “powerful” true dragon. Also, woooo Abjurant Champion. That’s incredibly standard for gishiness. Wyrmling Steel gets you a little bit of creative props, as does the Quickened Entangling Exhalation thing, but the rest of it is fresh off the gish mold.

    Power: 3.25
    This gish is pretty effective with its low-level spells. Wraithstrike + PA = ouch, and you do get decent-ish level spells late-game. Your Never Outnumbered + Frightful Presence trick is a bit lackluster compared to everyone else, but I can see this build being generally effective in combat. Lots of attacks.

    Elegance: 3.25
    Gaaaaaah no, don’t pull the Bestow Curse-on-a-dragon cheese on me! Besides that, you’ve got an errant Warblade dip, but the transition from RHD directly into Talon of Taimat makes me happy. The build is almost entirely PrC, and its spellcasting and melee capabilities work together fairly well as a standard gish. Still, Bestow Curse cheese stings hard.

    Use of the Secret Ingredient: 2.75
    You blew it—you used Warblade to get the proficiencies for Abjurant Champion, but Talon of Tiamat already gives those proficiencies. Really, look it up! So I can’t give you points for that. Keen senses are overlapped, immunities are ignored, Voice of the Dragon barely matters but it’s there…wow, you actually found a relevant use for Dominate Dragon! I’m impressed. Frightful Presence is mentioned as a debuff tool, but it’s basically just…there. I want to give you more points for it, but you pretty much just say you have it and it does what it says on the tin. I’ll give you a little bit for combination with Voice of the Dragon. Spellcasting progression gets you higher-level spells. Overall, quite interesting, but there’s a bunch you don’t use. It’s closer to a basic gish than a Talon of Tiamat build.


    Ornixen - 14 15.5
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    Originality: 3.75
    At this point I'm just looking to see how, not if, people do their fear-bomb build, and this one has some unusual selections. Draconic Persuasion, just as an example. The Dreadful Wrath/Draconic Persuasion + Intimidate one-two-punch is synergistic in way I haven't seen before in fear builds, though Dread Witch has been recurring throughout this contest, and focusing on the breath weapon is neat. It's very much not a normal fear build, but I'm not giving you a 4 because LOL ANOTHER FEAR BUILD.

    Power: 4.75
    Your numbers are really, really high, and no one can do anything about it because you have a about a half-dozen different ways of slapping on a fear effect with basically every action you have. Then the Clinging/Lingering Breath stuff helps you actually dead damage. I can't figure out what someone can actually do to you. Excellent.

    Per dispute, I flubbed my own rubric.

    Elegance: 3.25
    Nooooo--just because Dragon Breath lets you use your racial breath weapon every 1d4 rounds doesn't mean you get to ignore the limitations on Talon of Tiamat's breath. Don't go counting the two breath weapons as separate when you're dealing their cooldowns and then turn around and say Dragon Breath doesn't discriminate between breath weapons. Per dispute, this is merely dubious. Secondly, unfinished savage progressions are ugly and make DMs squint. I also feel like the build is...cluttered. There's too much going on. While your presentation of the build is well-done--love the formatting, by the way--explaining how it works could use more than a once-over.

    On the plus side, everything fits very well together into a draconic theme, moreso than the other entries. So, points for that.

    Use of the Secret Ingredient: 3.75
    Using Fearful Empowerment to extract +CL from dominated dragons is a clever use of the ability. The spellcasting advancement is used as always. Nothing to do with the immunities (you mentioned it, but no clever use) or keen senses, but frightful presence adds onto your fear bonanza, and you like your breath blasting. Half of Voice of the Dragon is used to good effect. This is overall an interestingly exploitative build--have a little bonus for the particularly interesting use of Dominate Dragon.

    Per dispute, voice of the draong and immunity atually have a use.


    Halyee Tsosysss - 13.5
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    Originality: 2.75
    Another breath weapon-focused build is welcome. Whodathunk that a class based around a potent breath weapon would have so few people basing their builds around it. You dedicate your resources to it almost exclusively. Ice Folk and White Dragonspawn are weird, though the other classes that compose the build are pretty standard fare, and, woo, Never Outnumbered. That poor, abused skill trick. Your spooky spells are an interesting way to apply fear, at least.

    Power: 3.5
    Your strafing BFC is efficient, and Dread Witch bypasses fear immunity. Your intimidate checks and the ways you can apply it get pretty obscene. Incidentally, I like that you're not relying on Imperious Command. You're not really that good at damage, however--that's the downside of taking the SI so late. I wouldn't say you're bad at your job, per se, but I wanted to see more out of a build like this until I remembered that you had UMD. Neat. This more than functions in a mild-op environment and looks pretty fun.

    Elegance: 4.25
    White Dragonspawn is one of those templates that are a bit too good; I'm gonna have to wag my finger disapprovingly at that. For making a build that looks fun to play--zipping around the battlefield and tying everyone down, ignoring defenses and stuff--you get some favor. Level progression is fairly smooth--I like what you did with Adaptive Learning. This just sort of...fits well. You've got the high con from race and Human Paragon alongside high Charisma, maximizing two things important to a Talon of Tiamat. It's like you're doing this the way the designers intended.

    Use of the Secret Ingredient: 3.5
    Yes, a good use of the energy immunity--covering up your glowing weak point! No use of dominate dragon or keen senses, though (one of the senses isn't overlapped at least). No good use for proficiencies, but yes to spellcasting progression. No to dominate dragon, but yes to frightful presence stacking onto stuff that normally just makes people shaken. Good job taking advantage of the range, too. Breath weapons, holy bleep are they used.

    I can't imagine this build with a substitution. Good job. You don't get to 4 because you didn't use everything or close to everything, but that's okay--no one got to 4.


    I'm nervous about all of the disputes ever that will certainly come rolling in.

    Now, I need to go rinse my mouth out with a Barbarian build that has 0 ranks in Intimidate.
    Last edited by Kazyan; 2013-06-08 at 07:41 PM. Reason: spacing

  7. - Top - End - #547
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    Goblin

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLV

    Ya know what.. **** It.

    I had a nice long write up about contesting an issue with Kazyan's judging and I honestly just go so pissed off because of the way things were wrote that I am taking it to heart to much and IM just pissed beyond belief atm. Not sure if Kazyan meant to be taken that way or not. Im beyond caring at the moment.

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    yuk Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLV

    Hey now! I wasn't expecting scores until tomorrow at the earliest. Don't you love unexpected gifts?

    Thanks, Kazyan! Awesome job as always.
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLV

    Quote Originally Posted by Callin View Post
    Ya know what.. **** It.

    I had a nice long write up about contesting an issue with Kazyan's judging and I honestly just go so pissed off because of the way things were wrote that I am taking it to heart to much and IM just pissed beyond belief atm. Not sure if Kazyan meant to be taken that way or not. Im beyond caring at the moment.
    I wouldn't take it personally, Callin. I can speak from experience when I say it's hard to sound nice when you judge, even if you like the build. Obviously I don't know which build is yours, and I can't speak for Kazyan, but I'd be really surprised if Kazyan meant to cause offense.
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLV

    Callin, talk. Was it my last comment about dreading disputes? I'm not mad about people disputing me; I'm just nervous and want to do a good job for you guys.

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    Goblin

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLV

    Will send ya a PM ok? Im an adult and can talk things over. Like I said im just probably taking it to heart when I shouldnt be.

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLV

    Quote Originally Posted by Piggy Knowles View Post
    I wouldn't take it personally, Callin. I can speak from experience when I say it's hard to sound nice when you judge, even if you like the build. Obviously I don't know which build is yours, and I can't speak for Kazyan, but I'd be really surprised if Kazyan meant to cause offense.
    I don't mean to hurt anyone, but I really should have watched my words more closely. Anonymity made me cruel.

    If you like, I can go over the builds one more time and say something nice about all of them.

  13. - Top - End - #553
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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLV

    I hope things aren't too bad..

    Overall didn't do as well as I thought I would, but I do still have much more to learn and there are more judgings to await I think. So thank you for the work you put into these Kazyan. It really seems like judging isn't easy.
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    Awesome Holy Knight Haluesen avatar done by the uber skilled Grinner!

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLV

    Quote Originally Posted by Callin View Post
    Will send ya a PM ok? Im an adult and can talk things over. Like I said im just probably taking it to heart when I shouldnt be.
    Since the whole thing is anonymous, remember that nothing is personal against you. It's just my flawed ptimization evaluation machine talking through a somewhat caustic filter. We're all buddies here, right?

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLV

    Quote Originally Posted by Callin View Post
    Ya know what.. **** It.

    I had a nice long write up about contesting an issue with Kazyan's judging and I honestly just go so pissed off because of the way things were wrote that I am taking it to heart to much and IM just pissed beyond belief atm. Not sure if Kazyan meant to be taken that way or not. Im beyond caring at the moment.
    In our judges' defense, he did mention that he'd be rather... sharp. And for he most part, his sharpness was rather evenly distributed. I can tell you that judging? No easy task, especially with such a mountain of entries. IT's hard to not sound judgmental while still trying to explain why you felt that they deserved their score.

    And honestly? I highly doubt that Kayzan meant to offend anymore than he already knew he was going to (as evidenced by his pre-score comments).

    On that note, dispute!

    Quote Originally Posted by Violet Ruskin
    judging as a whole is fair and accurate. I had a devil of a time wrangling much useful out of this SI, and didn't expect to score that well. but I do feel that one deduction has been exacted from violet's hide unfairly.

    kazyan takes an unspecified amount of points out of elegance for "Dumping skill points into UMD so suddenly" (not objecting to not labeling the numerical deductions. with 23 dishes, how could one do otherwise?)

    however. none of violet's other classes grant UMD as a class skill, and i didn't want to risk further ire from judges by taking able learner for an originality hit.

    fatemaker's list is indeed pretty small, and in order to mitigate this, I sought to diversify violet's assets through wands. the objection seems to be the "suddenness" which characterize her ranks in UMD, but fatemaker is the only one of her classes (aside from UT) that grant UMD. I couldn't have invested sooner without wasting ranks CC.

  16. - Top - End - #556
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLV

    I hoped I'd have done better, but oh well. I have a couple of disputes, but I'll PM them to Kuv after I've slept.


    EDIT: Oh, wait. Kuv's here? I'll PM my dispute now.
    Last edited by Sgt. Cookie; 2013-06-06 at 08:41 PM.
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  17. - Top - End - #557
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLV

    Violet: Despite that being the only way the UMD points fit into the build, it's still a slightly awkward fit, I feel, and there's no easy way to make it fit elegantly. There's only one opportunity, and that opportunity was to dump points all at once. You're between a rock and a hard place--just because it was the only way to do it doesn't mean it's an elegant way.

    Any counterargument?

  18. - Top - End - #558
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLV

    Im Sorry for sounding like a child there for a minute. I honestly do apologize.

  19. - Top - End - #559
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLV

    Quote Originally Posted by Callin View Post
    Im Sorry for sounding like a child there for a minute. I honestly do apologize.
    No worries - you clearly poured a lot of effort into this, and we're naturally territorial over things like that. On the other hand, I can promise that the next SI doesn't even have Intimidate as a class skill.

  20. - Top - End - #560
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLV

    It's fine. People get upset. It's what happens when you put a lot of work into something.

  21. - Top - End - #561
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLV

    Oi, Kayzan -

    Quote Originally Posted by Violet Ruskin
    Quote Originally Posted by Kazyan View Post
    Violet: Despite that being the only way the UMD points fit into the build, it's still a slightly awkward fit, I feel, and there's no easy way to make it fit elegantly. There's only one opportunity, and that opportunity was to dump points all at once. You're between a rock and a hard place--just because it was the only way to do it doesn't mean it's an elegant way.

    Any counterargument?
    what in your opinion would be an elegant way to get UMD into violet's build?

    if I'd invested violet's skills differently during her fatemaker level, would my elegance have been better?

    it's more that I want to know that there was a way to have done it right rather than know that regardless of my choices that I would have been screwed with my score. if that makes sense.
    Thanks, man.

  22. - Top - End - #562
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLV

    Violet: You mentioned avoiding Able Learner. It's a bit late for this now, but I would have accepted Able Learner to get UMD as a class skill without comment or penalty. Otherwise, the UMD thing is just a necessary casualty of your build structure.

  23. - Top - End - #563
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLV

    Roughly where I figured I'd wind up, warts and all. Will explain after, if you're interested.

    Thanks for getting through the pile, Kazyan.
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLV

    Yeah, thanks Kazyan.

    And yeah, I didn't do as badly as I feared, but pretty darn close.

    For my first IC competition, and no real experience with TO, I think I did fairly well.
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  25. - Top - End - #565
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLV

    More disputes, if you would, Kayzan;

    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Gray
    Quote Originally Posted by Kazyan
    Divine Power is a divine spell, so you can't take it as your 4th-level Sorcerer spell. Similar case with Create Water and Cure Minor Wounds. Big oversight.
    Steel Dragons have the same casting as other true dragons, except that Steel Dragons can also cast cleric spells and those from the Knowledge or Trickery Domains as arcane spells. So she can learn and cast those spells as arcane spells.

    I only tangentially mentioned this in my build entry, I suppose it was easy to miss.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kazyan
    Secondly, three dips makes Kazyan sad; it's just a clumsy way to get power. The build is also a little bit...I don't know, all over the place? You try to reconcile being a party-facer with natural attack debuffing, but it comes across as spreading yourself out a bit too much. You've got Dalkstalker, for instance, when your Hide and Move Silently are dismal for the feat.
    Yeah, Darkstalker was a remnant from an earlier build, and when I changed things around I forgot I could get rid of it. It's a shame, too, because I would have traded it for Combat Casting so I could go with Abjurant Champion in a heartbeat. My mistake, I was a bit rushed when I rebuilt it. Sorry for the sloppy entry.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kazyan
    Finally, Alternate Form/Polymorph is not actually good for what you presume it can do--it lasts for 1 minute/level. Social encounters can last quite a while.
    This is another thing from the Steel Dragon entry that I guess I should have spelled out. The last sentence of their Alternate Form ability states: "The dragon can remain in its animal or humanoid form until it chooses to assume a new one or return to its natural form."
    *Note: although the online version of the Steel Dragon does not specify, in Dragons of Faerun it specifies that Steel Dragons get access to the cleric spell list.

    Quote Originally Posted by Violet Ruskin
    Quote Originally Posted by Kazyan View Post
    Violet: You mentioned avoiding Able Learner. It's a bit late for this now, but I would have accepted Able Learner to get UMD as a class skill without comment or penalty. Otherwise, the UMD thing is just a necessary casualty of your build structure.
    correct. I figured it would see a slap in originality for such a large pool. hnnnnnng. Oh well. live and learn. in that case, able learner would have once again proved my salvation. No further disputes. carry on.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sigismundo Celine
    Thanks, Kazyan. Just a couple notes:

    1. You mentioned build being choppy. This was mostly because I wasn't sure if forestlord overwrote the half-elf's "Favored Class: Any", since the section on favored classes isn't clear. The switching back and forth was to avoid XP penalties. If Sigismundo retains Favored Class: Any, then you can go straight Bard 4 -> Swashbuckler 3 into the SI, with just a brief sojourn to get Thought Theft by level 12. Since Sigismundo needed forestlord to pick up the dragonblood subtype and qualify for feats like Exhaled Barrier/Entangling Exhalation, there was no real way around that.

    2. The goal of Exhaled Barrier wasn't just to cause damage by making enemies run through it. It was to combine with bluff to make enemies think they couldn't escape, and thus escalate panicked enemies into cowering enemies. Sorry if that wasn't clear.

    3. It's worth noting that both Soothing Voice and Wanderer's Diplomacy work against fear-immune enemies, and that White Raven Tactics was meant to go alongside having dominated dragons to have them do the fighting for him.

    Thanks for all the judging!
    Quote Originally Posted by The Dead Mists
    Kazyan,

    First, thanks so much for getting through all these entries.

    Second, this is a minor nitpick, but you mentioned needing to meanface being a thrall to a demon and also being devoted to an elder evil.

    This is not only explicitly allowed in Elder Evils, it's actually encouraged. In addition to Thrall to Demon being one of the potential feats devotion to an Elder Evil can grant you, there are several instances within the book where this occurs. For example, Marcus Hape in the chapter on Leviathan is a rogue/assassin/thrall of Demogorgon dedicated to the Leviathan, and there is a whole section in the chapter about Demogorgon and why he wants to bring about the Leviathan and drown the world. Seghulerak in the chapter on Sertrous is also both a thrall to a demon lord and also devoted to Sertrous.

    I don't know that it will effect the score at all, but I wanted to point that one out. Thanks again!

  26. - Top - End - #566
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLV

    I'm on my phone and about to get to bed, but it looks like all three new disputes will get Iimproved scores when I can properly edit the judging. They all have a good point.

  27. - Top - End - #567
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLV

    Thanks for staying around to handle the disputes, Kazyan. We appreciate the truly herculean effort of judging all these builds.
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  28. - Top - End - #568
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLV

    *** Studiously avoiding reading any judging or disputes, I don't want to be influenced while I finish up *** Good job, Kayzan, you beat me.
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  29. - Top - End - #569
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLV

    Thanks for the hard work Kazyan.
    And since no one has done a table yet
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    {table=head]Place|Build|1st Judge

    1st|The Dead Mists | 15.75
    1st|Suspect 1 | 15.75
    3rd|Vox Dracul | 14.25
    4th|Ornixen | 14
    5th|Krumbalt | 13.5
    5th|Halyee Tsosysss | 13.5
    7th|Emrys | 12.75
    8th|Doc D'oc | 12.5
    8th|Zeddicus | 12.5
    8th|Leide Magora | 12.5
    11th|Firnesquis | 12
    12th|The White Whale | 11.75
    12th|Abrasa Kal | 11.75
    14th|Calsus | 11.5
    15th|Doraanar Gireen | 11.25
    16th|Sigismundo Celine | 11
    16th|Tristyn R'yr | 11
    18th|Spyro | 10.75
    19th|Violet Ruskin | 10.5
    19th|Wyrmlord Kranzon | 10.5
    19th|Aleksander | 10.5
    19th|Lady Gray | 10.5
    23rd|Majeed Azar | 8.25

    [/table]
    Last edited by nedz; 2013-06-07 at 08:19 AM.
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  30. - Top - End - #570
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLV

    Oh crap oh crap.

    Error error abort!

    I hope no one saw that...

    Great judging Kazyan, although I have really minor nitpicks/comments that I will totally send to the chairman and not post them here erroneously. Thanks for judging and taking the time to go over 23 entries, you deserve some kudos. Have some, and a cookie.
    Last edited by thethird; 2013-06-07 at 05:58 AM.
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